Spotlight on Lasting Recovery: Family Interview with Diane Lanier
This month, Diane Lanier, mother of an alumna of Eating Recovery Center, reflects on the journey of lasting recovery and states that her daughter’s progress is “slow but steady….with many peaks and valleys”.
What does lasting recovery mean to you?
Connection to individual in recovery: Slow but steady progress. This is a LONG journey with many peaks and valleys. Honestly, sometimes I’m overwhelmed by the anger and hatred that emanates from Harper. But lately, almost 18 months after leaving Denver, I get a genuine soft smile for no particular reason. These moments keep me going.
What is the greatest challenge you have faced since leaving treatment? How did you address this challenge?
Greatest challenge: Knowing when to step in and knowing when to let her go. Harper is 18 now, a young adult who wants to stretch her wings. Her eating disorder adds a difficult item into the mix.
Has anything surprised you about the recovery process?
My role: Just being there. Listening to what she has to say. Trying to be a sounding board for her, not solving her problems for her. Affirm what she is feeling. Sympathizing with her that life is frequently unfair. Make the most of what she has (which is a lot).
Do you have any inspiration quotes, saying, or affirmations you would like to share with fellow alumni?
Inspirational quotes/sayings: I’ve found reading Emily Dickinson with Harper has been illuminating as well as comforting. Her feelings as a young woman are not new or unique, and Dickinson writes in a plain but beautiful voice.
Have you been able to attend the Family Days, and if so, in what ways was the experience beneficial?
Family Days: Absolutely a must! It was a great comfort to me to meet others going through the same troubles. Going into Recovery, I felt SOOO GUILTY!! Family Days (as well as outpatient) helped take the edge off that guilt just enough that I could begin to function again. I had become completely frozen due to the guilt, and to be honest, anger that I felt. The time Harper was at Recovery was like the ice beginning to crack for me. It wasn’t completely melted away when we left; in fact there are some shards that I think I will carry forever, but at least that is bearable. Also, I’d recommend bringing any siblings to Family Days. I regret we didn’t bring Harper’s sister Elizabeth. Siblings can feel forgotten, as ours was as well as the others that I met at Family Days. It really is FAMILY days, and siblings are part of the family.
This double rainbow was taken
at the Denver Airport—very
appropriate for Harper (bright)
and me alongside her.
Here is Harper 9 months out—she won
the John Sparkman award for Person
Most Likely to Positively Effect